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Series:

Angus E. Dalrymple-Smith

Commercial Transitions and Abolition in West Africa 1630–1860 by Angus Dalrymple-smith offers a fresh perspective on why the most important West African states and merchants who traded with Atlantic markets became exporters of commodities instead of slaves in the nineteenth century. This study takes a long-term comparative approach and makes of use of new quantitative data.

It argues that the timing and nature of the change from slave exports to so-called ‘legitimate commerce’ in the Gold Coast, the Bight of Biafra and the Bight of Benin, can be predicted by patterns of trade established in previous centuries by a range of African and European actors responding to the changing political and economic environments of the Atlantic world.

Roads Through Mwinilunga

A History of Social Change in Northwest Zambia

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Iva Peša

Roads through Mwinilunga provides a historical appraisal of social change in Northwest Zambia from 1750 until the present. By looking at agricultural production, mobility, consumption, and settlement patterns, existing explanations of social change are reassessed. Using a wide range of archival and oral history sources, Iva Peša shows the relevance of Mwinilunga to broader processes of colonialism, capitalism, and globalisation. Through a focus on daily life, this book complicates transitions from subsistence to market production and dichotomies between tradition and modernity. Roads through Mwinilunga is a crucial addition to debates on historical and social change in Central Africa.

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Edited by Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri

In Frantz Fanon and Emancipatory Social Theory: A View from the Wretched, Dustin J. Byrd and Seyed Javad Miri bring together a collection of essays by a variety of scholars who explore the lasting influence of Frantz Fanon, psychiatrist, revolutionary, and social theorist. Fanon’s work not only gave voice to the “wretched” in the Algerian War of Independence (1954-1962), but also shaped the radical resistance to colonialism, empire, and racism throughout much of the world. His seminal works, such as Black Skin, White Masks, and The Wretched of the Earth, were read by The Black Panther Party in the United States, anti-imperialists in Africa and Asia, and anti-monarchist revolutionaries in the Middle East. Today, many revolutionaries and scholars have returned to Fanon’s work, as it continues to shed light on the nature of colonial domination, racism, and class oppression.

Contributors include: Syed Farid Alatas, Rose Brewer, Dustin J. Byrd, Sean Chabot, Richard Curtis, Nigel C. Gibson, Ali Harfouch, Timothy Kerswell, Seyed Javad Miri, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Pramod K. Nayar, Elena Flores Ruíz, Majid Sharifi, Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib and Esmaeil Zeiny.

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Edited by Burkhard Schnepel and Tansen Sen

Travelling Pasts, edited by Burkhard Schnepel and Tansen Sen, offers an innovative exploration of the issue of heritage in the Indian Ocean world. This collection of essays demonstrates how the heritagization of the past has played a vital role in processes and strategies related to the making of socio-cultural identities, the establishing of political legitimacies, and the pursuit of economic and geopolitical gains. The contributions range from those dealing with the impact of UNESCO’s World Heritage Convention in the Indian Ocean world as a whole to those that address the politics of cultural heritage in various distinct maritime sites such as Zanzibar, Mayotte, Cape Town, the Maldives, Calcutta and Penang. Also examined are the Maritime Silk Road and the Project Mausam initiatives of the Chinese and Indian governments respectively. The volume is an important contribution to the transdisciplinary fields on Indian Ocean Studies.

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Nigel Worden

Abstract

This chapter examines the ambiguities that exist in the ways in which Cape Town’s Indian Ocean heritage is publically perceived and how this is presented in museums, exhibitions and monuments. It argues that this is a reflection of Cape Town’s ambiguous political and cultural position within the ‘new South Africa’. The chapter focuses on two case studies, one on the representation of Islam, the other on that of slavery. In the case of Islam a strong invented tradition produced the racial and cultural category of ‘Malay’ in the apartheid era, a tradition that presented Islam as an exotic import from the Dutch East Indies brought by aristocratic exiles and religious leaders, but neglecting the role played by slaves and others within the town. Public commemoration of slavery in museums and monuments has only emerged since the advent of democracy in 1994, its aim being to depict its diverse geographical and cultural Indian Ocean roots more broadly. However, the association of slavery with Islam and Southeast Asia remains strong, and a broader Indian Ocean, and especially African, context is contested.

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Abdul Sheriff

Abstract

Zanzibar Town developed from its Swahili roots based on its stone-building technology and its social and cultural practices. It was cosmopolitan because of its interactions across the Indian Ocean. During the nineteenth century it incorporated newer Omani and Indian influences, and British colonialism made its own contribution to constitute a unique architectural ensemble. However, the British also divided the Old Town on the peninsula from the Native Quarter developing on ‘the Other Side’ of the Creek. The Zanzibar Revolution in 1964 turned the tables on the Old Town, with the large-scale nationalization of houses and the social transformation of the urban population. Conservation of the Old Town became a burning issue from the mid-1980s. However, the process of heritagization involved a number of contradictory forces, raising questions regarding whose heritage, why it should be preserved, what criteria should be used and whether UNESCO is right in insisting on its ‘Outstanding Universal Value’.

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Christoph Brumann

Abstract

The UNESCO World Heritage Convention of 1972 is often regarded as a success, and a place on the World Heritage List, with its now more than one thousand entries, has become a major global distinction, encouraging tourism, self-esteem, investments and conservation efforts. Charges of Eurocentrism in site selection have led to a greater emphasis on everyday heritage and long-distance cultural exchanges. The chapter analyses how this has affected World Heritage properties in and around the Indian Ocean and their official justifications for listing. Early inscriptions did not pay much attention to the ocean, whereas the ‘Global Strategy’ of 1994 has clearly encouraged a greater emphasis on links, migration, and cultural fusion. World Heritage properties connected with slavery and indentured labour have made their debut too. However, not all candidate sites use the ocean to the degree they could, and the potential for celebrating Indian Ocean connectivity through World Heritage is far from being exhausted.

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Mareike Pampus

Abstract

The heritage politics considered in this chapter are related to the performative aspects through which identities are situationally and strategically expressed. The focus is on the Baba Nyonya of Penang and their everyday practices, with cooking and eating as the main examples. It demonstrates how cooking certain dishes, as well as eating habits, are used in the construction and performance of Baba Nyonya identity. The narratives and cooking process of the dish called Chicken Kapitan are discussed and analysed from an anthropological perspective. The ways of cooking and consuming that are self-consciously used by Baba Nyonya to differentiate themselves from other (Chinese) groups in Penang reveal how a dish can come to be intimately linked to the historical experiences of the residents of a port city and the ways in which ‘recourse to the past’ is used for identity constructions.

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Ulrike Freitag

Abstract

This chapter investigates the infrastructure that developed in Jeddah to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims over the course of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Before oil, the annual pilgrimage or hajj was the largest source of local income for the successive states of the Ottomans, Sharifians and the early phase of the third Saudi state. At the same time, however, it was a seasonal business only, one which also posed substantial problems in terms of population control and health. Thus, a range of infrastructure evolved to cater for the needs of pilgrims. Some of this infrastructure, such as the different types of housing available to pilgrims, have older origins, while others, such as quarantine barracks and hospitals, were an immediate outcome of international concerns. Furthermore, the Hajj also accelerated the development of transport infrastructure, from improvements to the port to the introduction of busses and cars. The chapter, which is based on Ottoman, British, French and local archival sources, in addition to travelogues, memoirs, local histories, oral history and photographic sources, also touches on the question of how pilgrims, many of whom stayed for lengthy periods of time, were able to become part of the local societies.

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Katja Müller and Boris Wille

Abstract

This paper investigates the politics of cultural heritage in the Indian Ocean World by comparing the case of the Eickstedt Photo Archive’s movement between Germany and India to that of the relocations of the Kalhuvakaru mosque in the Maldives. The discussion of processes of digitization and of the movement of artefacts reintroduces the agency of objects in debates concerning heritage valorization. Instead of overemphasizing the primacy of the heritage object or the human factor in the production of heritage, the paper scrutinizes the interrelatedness of the materiality and mobility of artefacts, thereby suggesting a new way of incorporating materiality and mobility as object qualities back into heritage debates. A relational matrix demonstrates that stable and mutable materialities both enable and prevent the mobility of artefacts, which in turn either fosters or hampers heritagization.